And other representatives from Dongguan and the Expo organising committee
Cr Jimmy Chen
Consul-General Jin and representatives of the Chinese Consulate
Steven Ma and Members of the New Zealand Guangdong General Association of Commerce
Ladies and Gentlemen
Da jia hao! It’s my pleasure to welcome to Christchurch our distinguished visitors who are here to promote the Maritime Silk Road Expo.
We all know that the Silk Road is an ancient route that connected the East and the West.
As it has been said the greatest value of the Silk Road was the exchange of culture. Art, religion, philosophy, technology, language, science, architecture, and every other element of civilisation was exchanged through the Silk Road along with the commercial goods the merchants carried from country to country.
The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, an initiative of President Xi Jinping, has created a modern-day equivalent, capturing the essence of the connectivity of the ancient routes – this time it travels from China’s coast to Europe through the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean in one route, and from China’s coast through the South China Sea to the South Pacific in the other.
Clearly New Zealand has a keen interest in this initiative.
But even more importantly, does Christchurch with our port and airport making us the international gateway to and departure point from the South Island.
That’s why there are representatives here from a range of business organisations including the Canterbury Development Corporation, the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and the New Zealand China Trade Association.
Deputy Mayor Yang, allow me to welcome you to our city once again. You and your office have my thanks for the work you are doing to prepare for the Maritime Silk Road Expo, as does the Chinese Consulate here in Christchurch and the Guangdong General Association of Commerce.
I look forward to learning more about the Maritime Silk Road Expo. And I wish all of you great success with tonight’s event, as well as with the Expo itself in October!